Friday, May 09, 2008

Protecting Your Landscape From Drought

NAPSI-According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2007 was one of the warmest years on record and one of the driest.

Severe to exceptional drought hit the Southeast and Western U.S. Water conservation measures and drought disasters were declared in at least five Southeastern states, as well as California, Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware.

Fortunately, if 2008 shapes up to be another dry year, there are steps you can take now to protect your valuable landscape.

"Caring for your landscape in the spring makes it stronger if a drought hits your area this summer," says Bayer Advanced™ Garden Expert Lance Walheim, author of more than 30 garden books, including "Landscaping for Dummies." "Once dry weather sets in, it's everyone's responsibility to conserve water."

• Check your local water department for watering guidelines. When you do water, wet the entire root zone. Lawns should be watered so that 6 to 8 inches of the soil below is moist. Most shrubs should be watered to depths of 1 to 2 feet. Trees should be watered at depths of 2 to 3 feet. (Insert a stiff wire in the soil. It'll stop moving when it reaches dry soil.) Water again only when the soil has partially dried, letting the weather and water laws be your best guide.

• Mulch. A 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch (compost or wood chips) around plants and trees reduces evaporation and weeds.

• Check sprinklers. A little work now will prevent stressed plants and dead spots in the lawn later this summer. Fix clogged or broken sprinklers and redirect them so they don't water sidewalks, driveways or fences. Make sure you have enough sprinkler heads to cover the entire lawn. Set automatic timers for the watering schedule and check drip systems for clogged emitters.

• Protect trees and shrubs from insects. Many insects are attracted to drought-stressed plants and trees. Insect damage in lawns can also look like drought damage. Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub products protect against insects for up to 12 months without spraying. To control lawn pests, use Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf.

You can learn more by visiting www.bayeradvanced.com or by calling 1-877-BAYERAG. Always read and follow label instructions.

When it comes to protecting your landscape, a little work now will prevent stressed plants and dead spots during the summer.

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